Turn on your television and you’ll see plenty of shows based on or inspired by comic books. But what you see on your tube is only the tip of a larger iceberg of compelling material. With so much from the comic industry being mined by Hollywood these days, it’s possible that the titles on my list are already in development. But until I’m binge watching them with several pounds of popcorn, here are my top five comic book titles that need to be weekly indulgences.

100 Bullets

A mysterious man known only as Agent Graves approaches ordinary citizens and hands them a briefcase containing a gun and 100 bullets, all completely untraceable. Graves then gives them the green light to seek revenge on the person or persons who have wronged them without repercussion. 100 bullets is a gritty moral study on who holds the power in our society, what it takes to get it and how easily it can be taken away. The comic series is an anthology series of short and long story arcs focusing on rotating characters and their dealings with Agent Graves, making it ideal for television. Each week could be a different story with a different cast of characters, much the way The Love Boat was in the 1980s … if the Pacific Princess was riddled with bullet holes and dead bodies.

Ex Machina

Not to be confused with the recent film, this comic series is about a failed superhero turned politician. After Mitchell Hundred gains the bizarre power to talk to and control all electronic devices. His brief attempt at a superhero career ends with the realization that his abilities would be better served elsewhere. He then decides to help his beloved New York City by becoming its mayor. Ex Machina is a smart political drama that would be the new West Wing for the intellectual superhero audience.

Gotham Central

Gotham Central is the show I had hoped Gotham would be when I first heard it was in development. Unlike Gotham which focuses on the early beginnings of the main Batman universe characters that we all know, Gotham Central is about the Gotham City police detectives who struggle each day to do their jobs in a city that is overrun by crazed super villains that are more the backdrop rather than actual characters. The series is pure police melodrama similar to the classic show Homicide: Life on the Streets and would transfer so well to the small screen with an intriguing superhero twist.

Manifest Destiny

Famed explorers Lewis and Clark set out to conquer the American frontier, but this is a different expedition than the one we read about in history class. This new world is infested with fantastic and dangerous monsters, from plants that turn humans into jungle rot zombies to giant charging minotaurs. Stuffy textbook history is replaced by high adventure without being dumbed down. Imagine the likes of Jurassic Park on your TV screen every week. ‘Nuff said!

Y The Last Man

A sudden epidemic strikes the planet, killing all males of every species except for one lone man. With half of the world’s population gone, the women left behind work to rebuild society in their own vision while trying to figure out why one male survived and what should be done about him. With a similar post-apocalyptic theme, Y The Last Man would easily capture the Walking Dead audience while still being unique enough to stand on its own and make it as big of a hit television series in the right hands.

If any of these comic book titles sound interesting to you, check them out at Hi De Ho Comics!

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